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Grateful DeadGrateful Dead Live at Winterland Arena on 1977-12-31 (December 31, 1977)

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Collection: GratefulDead
Band/Artist: Grateful Dead
Date: December 31, 1977 (check for other copies)
Venue: Winterland Arena
Location: San Francisco, CA

Source: Soundboard
Lineage: SBD> MR> DAT> standalone burner> CDR> EAC> SHN
Keywords: Live concert


Description

The Music Never Stopped, Tennessee Jed, Finiculi Finicula, Me & My Uncle, Loser, Jack Straw, Friend Of The Devil, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication Sugar Magnolia-> Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Truckin'-> Wharf Rat-> Drums-> Not Fade Away-> Around & Around, E:One More Saturday Night-> E: Casey Jones

Notes

SBD> MR> DAT> standalone burner> CDR> EAC> SHN;  EAC> SHN by B.
Purvis; via offer to PCP; etreed 5/9/00 via A. Jerugim

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Streamed 23,597 times
Reviews
Average Rating: 4.21 out of 5 stars4.21 out of 5 stars4.21 out of 5 stars4.21 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Miss the Seventies - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 3, 2015
Subject: Great Run
I too was at this run and had a fantastic time. After '72 this is probably my favorite New year's show and I saw every one from '71-'86, except of course the years they didn't play one. I had to add that because some young idiot would surely write a post on here that Im full of it and the dead didn't play in '73-'75, blah blah blah. The 29th was obviously killer, the whole run smoked. Love the story below, maybe Ill post some of mine one of these days. And this clown gratefulshrink needs to get a life.
Reviewer: tknight - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 1, 2015
Subject: A story on this NYE show
As an old deadhead, I tend to repeat my stories,..so here goes one many have heard before, but here he (I) goes again.....37 years ago tonight....

Back in 1977, my girlfriend (now wife), myself, and two buddies decided to roadtrip from Nebraska to the old Winterland for the New Year's Eve run of shows in SanFranciso. I toted along with us a clay scupture that I had made the prior year. It was a one and 1/2 foot (in circumference) dragon that was biting/consuming it's own tail. I had 'scraffitto' (carved designs) into the entire beast's 'hide' and then it was fired and stained. It was the biggest piece of clay sculpture that I have ever made. And I thought it would be fun to give it to the band on New Years.

So away we go, get to the venue and secured tickets for the run (12/27-29-30-31-77). The shows were unbe*censored*inliveable and Winterland was such a great hall. But on the 31st, we were sitting on the sidewalk waiting for the doors to open, talking and watching the circus, ready to hurry and get in for the 'activities' ie. freak volleyball and Bill Graham was going to show us movies (Ray Bradbury's Illustrated Man and the original Beatles Magical Mystery tour) before that evening's show.

I thought "I better try to unload the dragon aka 'oroboros' now, it's heavy and I don't want to try to talk my way though the front gate with it." I spied a door that said 'Backstage' and began knocking on the door. No answer. The line of people on the side walk started getting up and moving toward the entrance. Banged even harder thinking "I've got to get this dragon in there so I can go in the front and join in before the show", and as I pounded harder, the door yanks open so hard that it yanks me into the doorway. This doorway is immediately filled with a gigantic black man in a red event t-shirt, who puts his hand on my chest and leans forward and bellows "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" Startled, I held out the dragon with both hands and stuttered "to give this to the band". The giant took it in his immense hand and his face curls into a grin as he held it closer to inspect it and I watched my dragon shrink to the size of a key chain. He exclaimed "Wow, what is this, I'd like one" and I explained "it's an oroboros and that is the only one there is." He grinned and said "Cool, who do you want me to give it to?" and I said "to Garcia, give it to Jerry Garcia." The giant disappeared as quickly as he appeared and the door slammed shut like the the first time Dorothy tried to get into the Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz.

So, I happily gain entrance to the show and needless to say, it was something, 'freak volleyball' followed by the movies, Grahm's copy of Bradbury's 'Illustrated Man' followed by a 16 mm Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour". The colorful/wonderful crowd, 'rainbow' Rose with an eyedropper of liquid party favor "just one dollar per drop. On your tongue or for the adventurous, a drop in your eye". Oh, and when each person walked through the entrance the staff handed us a piece of paper that had a message about a "surprise at midnight" (sent that into LL and it was posted a couple years ago :thumbsup. When you entered the Winterland, you could go into the big 'hall' surrounded on all sides by an elevated balcony, (with theater seats). You could also go into the bar, which played black and white videos taken from the Winterland stage, such as Hendrix, Airplane, etc. Very entertaining on many levels. Hey, the New Riders of the Purple Sage are starting, got to get in there, the sound is loud and they are rocking the house.

Anticipation was high and the Dead came out for the first set. Our party favors are now starting to engage..., things began to sparkle, and the old Winterland venue takes notice, and her walls start to sweat and, then to sway with the strains of familiar music as the Dead coax this old hall to dance with us all.

This is such a delight, I know the vista cruiser is engaged and then I notice when the house lights went down, and the stage lights went dark inbetween songs, I saw it.

On top of a monitor, inbetween Billy and Mickey, there was a flame, it was a white candle sitting in front of a dragon consuming it's tail. It was oroboros, ON STAGE WITH THE DEAD! I watched as Jerry walked over and lit a cigarette off the candle.

They took a break and the surprise for the second half was Uncle BoBo (as Bobby liked to call Graham) dressed up as Uncle Sam on a motorcycle sliding down on a cable suspended high from the back of the hall to the stage. They put spotlights on him as he approached the stage and it was hilarious. Because as Graham came to the stage, the weight of the bike and BoBo was too much and the stage hands had to rush out and drag him onstage and then to the explosion of Sugar Mag, complete with dropping balloons and babies girl and boy New Years dancing at the each edge of the stage. I was 'sittin' on top of the world (Dead reference intended). What a night!!

If you pull up look the Fire on the Mountain 1977 video from that NYE show, right at the end of Fire on the Mountain, the camera does focus in on the 'oroboros' for a couple of seconds. What a treat that run in 1977 was. At many levels, the return of China Cat-Rider, my being able to 'gift' our band, who poured out so much to us. But unknown to me, the best would be yet to come.

We walked out into the cool San Francisco early morning and drove through the fog back to Nebraska. This is not the end of the tale.

Fast forward to another road trip to Madison, Wisc. on 2-3-78. The Dead were on a roll and it was really a killer show. That Cold Rain and snow to start and the tremendous second half with Estimated>Eyes>Wheel (if I recall correctly).

The next morning before I left the hotel, I got a wild hair and called the front desk and asked "Could I have Jerry Garcia's room please?" and the phone rang and Jerry answered! I said "Hey, I'm the guy that brought the dragon to the New Year's show" and Garcia said "Meet you in the coffee shop in 20 minutes". I couldn't believe what was happening but stumbled into the coffee shop at the appointed time and looked around and saw Jerry Garcia seated at a table with a ravishingly beautiful raven-haired gypsy woman.
I walked over and introduced myself, and 'shook the hand, that shook the hand, of PT Barnum and Charlie Chan'. Jerry beamed that smile and gestured and said "sit down, man". He asked me "How did you fire that dragon so that it didn't expode in the kiln?" and I explained how I had cut it in half and hollowed it and joined it back together. I told him how I had used a guitar string to 'halve it" and we locked eyes at that moment and he burst into laughter and I said "Ironic, huh?" and Jerry quiped "No, man that makes perfect sense." And then we laughed some more. Then the gypsy/beauty said "where are you from?" and I replied Nebraska. And she shot Garcia a glance and stated "he came all the way up here from Nebraska to see the band!" To which Jerry shrugged his shoulders and retorted "we didn't ask him to come" and looked at me and we both howled with laughter again. No deadhead was she.

We talked more about art and the dragon and I didn't know at that time of Garcia's interest and practice in art (this kind anyway). He was completely engaged in the topic of art, but quick witted with 'turn on a dime' twists, turns, and little commentaries on a variety of topics. Jerry was also focused on listening, not acting like he was the important one, giving me time and locked in on our discussion and talking about our shared interests. The gypsy woman frowned in disbelief as she asked me "You went out to San Francisco for New Years and then came to Wisconsin" and I said 'yes' and then I turned to Garcia and asked him "Why don't you bring the circus back to Lincoln, Nebraska?" He quickly replied "You mean to Perishing Auditorium?" And I corrected him "No, it is Pershing Auditorium, after the army general" and he quickly retorted "No man, it was perishing, really!" And we both burst out laughing again. At that Lincoln, Ne. Dead show on 2-26-73, there were a bunch of drunk frat boys yelling 'boogie, boogie" at the top of their lungs.., but that show is top-notch!

Anyway, I asked Garcia "could you bring the Dead back to Nebraska" and Jerry grinned that Cheshire cat grin and said "who knows?"
I took my leave (their breakfast arrived) and drove home. Then that summer the Dead came back to Omaha, Ne. on 7-5-78, and I taped them with my NAK 550 in FOB, and followed them to their/my first Red Rocks shows.

So that is my story, Jerry Garcia was totally gracious, engaging, enthusiastic, and kind to a deadhead who approached him at one moment in time.

I know, I repeat myself, such is my lot in life at this juncture, but there is another story rolling around in my head.....
Reviewer: JamsOnly - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 11, 2014
Subject: Solid Effort
Highlights: Truckin', NFA
Reviewer: FrankFoster - - April 27, 2010
Subject: A good show and a better year
Nice show and run to end out a great year. '77 may just not be your thing.
Reviewer: enardi - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 5, 2010
Subject: great show
This show is outstanding, the quality of this soundboard here on archive, no is not as good as some other 77 boards but it is adequate that said go watch the show on youtube here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTttsdP5mJM&feature=related

its a hour and 48 minutes long, and has AMAZING sound qualtiy the video begins with lazy lightning and contiunes through the end of the show. Playing wise its outstanding, very powerful stuff, go to love the setlist too.
Reviewer: BIG_R - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 23, 2010
Subject: 12-31-77
Good show with okay but not great sound quality. My favorite of '77 is probably 6-9. I gave that five stars so I guess I'll give this four. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it though. I don't know where people get thier info from but the band didn't have any thoughts about quitting after '74. They took time off to make the Grateful Dead movie. Also as those of us who are old enough to remember know there was an Arab oil embargo. When they rationed gasoline you could only buy five gallons at a time if I remember correctly. It's kind of hard to keep a band on the road under those circumstances.
Reviewer: jerlouvis - - January 9, 2010
Subject: Yeah,no spacy jams
This Truckin' is just awful from start to finish,they do the vocals then build it up and proceed to mangle the climax like a group of teenagers in a garage ,into another lame climax,into the lame blues shuffle,into one more dull climax,into the typical nobody's fault/spoonful like lame shuffle,into about seven minutes of barely audible nothingness,into Wharf Rat.At that point their normal forced late 70's horseshit version of a spacy jam would have seemed brilliant.I'm in total agreement with gratefulshrink and wish they never came back after the hiatus,nevermind 77'.I think we would have gotten far more interesting music from Jerry than we actually got.
Reviewer: JackStraw77 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - December 18, 2009
Subject: WoW :)))
Spectacular performance! What a great way for the Dead to end the phenomenal year of 1977...and on their home turf no less. Righteously groovin show.

Jack Straw and NFA are real gems on this one.
Reviewer: rollandfin - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 7, 2009
Subject: NO spacey jams?
check out the transition from truckin to wharf rat !

whole show caught on black and white blurry but worth your while video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTttsdP5mJM&feature=related

Surely the period 1971 thru 1974 with only billy k is tight, but I think they were accomplishing or testing interesting ideas with billy and mickey on drums in 1976-1978, I just think it got derailed by many things including substance, disco, lack of community, growing popularity... The comment about tleo's from 73 being much better than in 77 is easy to agree. yet the shift in style and pace was not really a reaction to the second drummer, as you can hear similar sound in the JGB of 75-76 before the june 76 return of GD. Therefore these changes were a result of (change) and experiment. Same goes with friend of the devil. I agree a lot of tunes from 77 on, such as brown eyed women can seem cookie cutter, but others such as help-slip-frank might not have sounded as good without two drums.

Mostly I think the idea of getting away from a piano sound was the real mistake, and the band seemed to admit this in september of 1990 with Hornsby. After all bobby on slide guitar no longer offered much rhythm, jerry's guitar was changing and the drums had a hard time accomplishing what they seemed to do in 1970 thru two great albums. It's ironic that adding a regular space drums to almost every show only reduced the amount of spacey original music the band seemed to produce? You could also say in trying to tighten up songs to fit a mold, you the band lost the ability to produce the unexpected unscripted moments that redefined their image on any given night a few years ago.

Check out the jam out of truckin, it's just the opposite, it's one of a kind and probably the reason to listen to this recording and part of the success of two drummers.

email me at fieldhouse11277@hotmail.com happy to share with some good listeners.
Reviewer: CosmicCruiser - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 22, 2009
Subject: Really?! Who started comparing anyway...
OK... New to this site, but have used it many times to download the MUSIC!! Admittedly, these shows were some of my first and, as such, best. This was a great night with NRPS & GD... WAY too much fun!!
Maybe I'm outta line here, but I went to the shows for the FUN of it. NEVER had a bad time at any show whether they were "ON" or not. Half the fun was watching them smile when they blew the lyrics. Followed them through the '80's, '90's and again in '04. Happy to know that as long as this site is here, the music will never stop!!
Reviewer: thebone - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 8, 2009
Subject: Five Stars??
Of course!! This show is great finale to an incredible year for the Dead. Some of my favorites of this show were Music, Jack Straw, LL>Supplication, and then the whole Truckin' (20 min!!)>Wharf Rat>Drums>NFA.
Reviewer: magicastles - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - December 12, 2008
Subject: okay so..
you got me thinking..if there was ONE thing that shouldn't of happened...it's Garcia getting hooked on the heroin. There, I said it. If he had stayed away from that shit, man, he'd still be playing today and there would still be a place for you and for me. So whine all you want about your favorite years..if he hadn't got all junkie...he'd be touring still...
I like it all..ALL of it even the Midi in '89, it was what it was and that's what it was, and it's gone forever except for sites like this. Peace
Reviewer: skullsnroses - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - October 30, 2008
Subject: won't you go buddy where your love is waiting
Why is Jerry better then Jesus? Check out some of the spit fire diving eagle howls during LOSER. 5 roses for it being New years. 3 skulls for the poor heads who lost their hearts below. Isn't it sad to see a hippie turn into their bitter fathers!?! hehehehehe Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart!
Reviewer: sizhla - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 4, 2008
Subject: Stars
No, I'm not going to write some long schpiel about how great this show was, only to give it four stars. Long story short, I wish I could have been at this show. I can tell it was a mighty high night. NEW YEARS EVE. HELLO. Jerry (and the rest of the boys,)was indeed dialed in. I don't know what people want from the man. He wasn't a godamned computer. These people writing the bulk of these critiques must've been born with a keyboard in their hands, and never actually tried to play a guitar.
Reviewer: stowerider - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - November 2, 2007
Subject: Is there a better FOTD than this one?
Friend of the Devil has always been a song I like, but not one I would name as one of my favorites. However, the version of it from this show is perfect — maybe the best one I've ever heard. From Bobby's sweet, melodic rhythm to Keith's sweet little piano solo to Jerry's slow, crooning guitar solo, this is the kind of Dead that can make a grown man cry.
Reviewer: I_love_you - - September 11, 2007
Subject: Listen to this...
oh.. unless you think they should have retired here:

Rambler Room '78
http://www.archive.org/details/gd78-11-17.acoustic.sbd.dodd.7687.sbeok.shnf

Indiana '81
http://www.archive.org/details/gd81-12-05.sbd.clugston.5488.sbeok.shnf

Boston '91
http://www.archive.org/details/gd91-09-26.sbd.fishman.21242.sbeok.shnf

wtf do you think? good? worth listening to? eh?
Reviewer: mcgannahan - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - September 11, 2007
Subject: should have, maybe not must have
look, forget the negativity and remember:

a. it's 1977
b. it's winterland
c. it's new year's
d. it's nineteen seventy fuckin seven

sound is fairly good, show is fairly good, nice solid 4 star performance. take it or don't, i did
Reviewer: thewomble - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - October 25, 2006
Subject: That's opened the harnets' nest
Surprisingly dull show, I'm afraid, for a New Years' Eve. But I'm glad to see the debate going on about the band before and after Micky's return. I fully agree with JackieStraw. While I wouldn't have wanted the band to have stopped playing after 74, I have to say that what they gained from then on was sheer power, the kind that blows away an audience who is there to scream and dance and party, but what they generally lost was subtlety. With the archive available, we can each make our choice. For me, the adventure of 69/70 is tremendous, the garage band of 71 is ball-busting; 72/73 is polished genius; in 74 they grew tired, but put on some wonderfully relaxed jazzy shows. The return of Micky Hart brought the possibility of the old excitement when they toured in Spring 77. But two drum kits was one too many when most of the time all Micky did was double Billy. He proved an inspired percussionist - just listen to his work in the Supplications of 77 - and if I had a wish it would be for him to have developed sounds and other percussion instruments to complement Billy's wonderful swing drumming. Instead he overrode it with a heavy hand. Of course I'm glad they kept going or I wouldn't have got to see them play live - it was the best concert of my life despite what I'm saying! And of course they wouldn't have become American heroes and eventually earn themselves lots of money. They deserved that success, and the way they went about it without compromise was a lesson to us all.
Reviewer: smgarcia - 2.00 out of 5 stars2.00 out of 5 stars - July 2, 2006
Subject: Not great sound
It's not worth downloading if you want to have top 5, or even top 10 of this year. There are better sounding soundboards for this year, and the music selection is basically the same. There isn't anything special about this show. I say it like it is, it's my duty to archive some of the best shows for each year in my iTunes. I'm deleting this one for the sake of space.

Just go back and forth from 6-9-77 and this show, and you'll understand what I mean, sound wise. No contest.
Reviewer: AshesRising - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 26, 2006
Subject: Grateful shrink...It Must Have Been the Doses...
..really, "the music should have stopped" with this show(?) Well, that surely is an unpopular opinion and, in my humble ignorance, an opinion that lacks substance. Ironic that "One man gathers what another spills," isn't it? Exactly what is causing you to shrink? ---AshesRising
Reviewer: sid weiss - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 10, 2006
Subject: how to download shows
how to get the new streamed shows
Stream the show ...go to sleep ..wake up in the morning and drag and drop from your internet cashe'..just don't forget to increase your internet cashe' folder meggage..all files will be there just like before ...
Reviewer: MushroomEagle - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - October 10, 2005
Subject: lol
first off...almost no one has really reviewed this show, so i'll do a lil of that...

The beginning is a little on the rough side...but Jack Straw is a new beginning - wow - one of my favorite Jack Straw's (check out 11/6/77) and during a time when Jerry was still really hindered in his jamming time during Bob songs...he just wouldn't stop and i love it.
Tight Friend as well.
NOW - the scarlet/fiya...
I would say out of all the scarlet-fiyas i've heard this may be the most uptempo. Even the late 80s-early 90's sped-up versions of this combo were not as fast paced and almost explosive. It sounds as if they've been given a deadline for when the show has to end because its the last night on earth...and it has to end...NOW!
LISTEN to the scarlet middle jam...IMHO the best scarlet middle jam ever. I keep thinking "wind in the willows" is to come, but jerry keeps it going at rapid pace...always climaxing.
Then the fire...the beginning jam is rushed into the verse and into another blistering but short jam...but the FINISHING JAM of fire. this is a beaut...listen to jerry play at 400 mph. listen to his brain tell his muscles to play these notes. A real gem. Not my favorite scarlet-fire but YET i cannot stop listening to it. Never gets old get it.
Reviewer: jackiestraw - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - August 1, 2005
Subject: typical rockin new years show
Sound wise it's a 4, playin wise it's tight and rockin but nothin special. definately worth downloading though. Now i'm dying to get me two cents in after reading the docs comments, i agree with him to a point, the dead were at thier best when they had 1 drummer (billy) and kieth tickling the ivories..period. 1 drummer allowed billy to hit the skins without worrying what the other guy is doing.listen to billy on any 73 show, he is hittin em and kieth was just wonderful especially on the row jimmies and the other slower tunes. Once the band added brent the keyboards took way to much time away from jerry and the organ was used as filler just like the drumz portion of the show that became prevalent in the late 70's and on. I saw them over 20 times in 78 and in my opinion the best78 show can't shake a stick at the worst show in 72, 73 , 74. The 2 drummers ended up producing to much of a shuffle sound in thier tunes which i think took something away from the songs listen to a tleo from 73 and 77, both good, yet the 73's are so much more intricate and rockin and don,t have the cookie cutter shuffle sound.True also for alot of other tunes.
so imho i think the dead were at thier best 68-74 with thier peak being 72-73
I don't think they should have quit at any time, they are the most original and best band america ever produced and are truely a piece of americana. a national treasure!!! so there i feel better now!!
Reviewer: Lewis/Klitschko - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - July 31, 2005
Subject: Re:
Dick's favorite year was '73.
Reviewer: cdw - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 31, 2005
Subject: 1977
opinions are like assholes everbodies got em
Reviewer: uncletravelingmatt - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - July 28, 2005
Subject: Are you for real?
Grateful Shrink, you have got to be kidding me. It would have been a TRAGEDY if this had been the last show. What a SILLY thing to say. Sure, the boys would have been legends if they had stopped playing in '77 but the world would have missed out on 15 YEARS of some of the most beautiful music ever recorded. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think it needs to be said that there are probably several MILLION people in the US alone who would disagree. An entire generation never would have had the chance to experience the magic of a Dead show. Just last night I was watching a show from '89, Alpine Valley, on DVD and this fat, gray-haired old man and his middle aged bandmates absolutely TORE UP the jam in China>Rider. Jerry went BALLISTIC and SCREAMED the lyrics "wish I was a headlight on a northbound train", and it sent SHIVERS OF PURE JOY running up my spine. Then they did Standing On The Moon (which never would have been written!) and Jerry flubbed some lyrics but it DIDN'T EVEN MATTER because the SOULFULLNESS of his playing and the EMOTIONAL POWER of his delivery when he sang "somewhere in San Francisco, on a back porch in July, just looking up at heaven at that crescent in the sky" conveyed the message PERFECTLY, and sent me to NIRVANA AGAIN! Granted, nights like that got rarer as the years went on. The title of the DVD is Downhill From Here, which I can't totally disagree with. It wasn't long after that Jerry started using a teleprompter:) But do I think 12-31-89 should have been their last show? HELL NO. My first show was in '92, the year I graduated from high school, and it CHANGED MY LIFE. There aren't too many things that have brought me more joy than the music of The Dead, and I have to say (since I was only 3 YEARS OLD at the time) that I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL that they didn't stop making new music in '77. Oh yeah and this show rocks too, as does pretty much anything they played that year. :)
Reviewer: Cortez - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - June 7, 2005
Subject: Continuing the discussion
Is it beyond the pale that someone decided to state that the Dead's best years were from 68-72, absolutly not. YOUR opinion is mearly that this was their creative peak and as such they should have packed it in after '74.

What I might argue is while the bulk of their best song writing came during this period, they weren't as mature a band as they became in the late 70's. You ask Phil, you ask McNally, you ask Dick (RIP) ..77 is their peak year. Sound or no sound. That's a fact.

In 68-69 Jerry and the boys jammed and experimented with sounds. They were blazing fast and powerful. That doesn't necessarily mean they were better. You listen to Miles Davis in the 50's then listen to him on Bitches Brew, totally different sounds. Pure bee-bop versus fusion.

You might say you personally liked the music better from the early years but to suggest they should have packed it in after '74 (2nd best year ever) is totally wrong.
Reviewer: StringCheeseIncidentNumero1 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 23, 2005
Subject: fascinating.
well yea you have an opinion, but in this case maybe its better to keep it to yourself, the music has never stopped, nor will it. speaking on another level we as muscians only continue to achieve new heights, explore new areas, and reach new plateaus.
so to say that they wanted to call it, is one thing, but they did not, and when you acctualy look at how every happened over time, 35 years of some of the best music ever to bless my senses. truckin because thats what we all do, much love, and peace to all of us ;)
Reviewer: reef_1214 - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - January 26, 2005
Subject: Should of been the last show?!?!?!
First of all my review, solid show during the Dead's peak year(theres definetely better though-9/3,11/2,11/4,11/6, and basically anything in May). But i'm mainly writing this because i couldn't disagree more with what gratefulshrink said. How dare you! The Grateful Dead aren't just a band man, they're an experience and a beautiful one at that. The Grateful Dead didn't come together so they could be legendary! They're only goal was to make good music and share it with anyone and everyone. Why stop anything that makes people feel really good, that's what the Dead were best at, they did something that no other band could do or will do and thats why I like them and thats why they have such a great and loving following. Jerry once said, "Our audience is like people who like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice." And that in my mind is a result of what the Grateful Dead were good at. But thats my own opinion and you are of coures entitled to your own, I just don't agree with it.
Reviewer: gratefulshrink - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - January 20, 2005
Subject: Should Have Been the Last Show
Despite good sound quality (which, unfortunately, many of the classic 1966-72 shows lacked), the music SHOULD have stopped. The Dead wanted to retire after 1974, but felt they had a little more in them. There was some fun stuff in 1977 (Scarlet/Fire, Franklin's, etc)., but, with each new show, the same tired first set/second set formula remained, and you had to find that 3 or 4 minutes of good, creative jamming buried inside three hours of music. In contrast, almost every show from 1968-70 was jam-packed with energy and fresh psychedelic sounds. And 1970 also gave the world new American roots music (American Beauty and Workingman's Dead). Even into 1973, large stetches in the seond set were interesting, although with a much slower, jazzier feel (thanks to one drummer). But let's not confuse good sound quality, with good sounds. The Dead would still have been legendary even if they retired after 1977!
Reviewer: sheikyerbouti - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - November 29, 2004
Subject: Hard to come up with words for this
This is too hot too imagine - give this a listen, I was stunned at how awesome this is and I have prob heard close to 200 shows on LMA. 5 is a derivative of what this rates...
Reviewer: Bluecaps - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - June 16, 2004
Subject: Garcia on fire!
Odd new year show: Graham's door persons handed us a flyer saying something to the effect that "midnight will happen at 12:30", or something close(Bill chose to ring the new year across town at the Cow Palace with Santana first, then head over to Winterland).

Anyway, this show smokes from beginning to end; I recall Jerry being as loud as I ever heard him.
No spacey jams, just a consistent, rocking show.

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